Tuesday, 30 August 2011 14:57

Pilots N Paws Memorial Rescue Flights for the “Chesterfield 22” Set for 9/17/11 Featured

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On September 17 Pilots N Paws, with much needed support from Petmate, will
relocate at least 200 animals from South Carolina to their new forever homes in
Washington D.C., Florida, New Jersey and Georgia. This Memorial Rescue Flight is
dedicated to the “Chesterfield 22”—twenty-two dogs that were needlessly shot to
death in Chesterfield, South Carolina in March.

Since 2009, Petmate has been proud to partner with Pilots N Paws, a program that
gives dogs a second chance one flight at a time. This unique program brings
together planes, pilots and shelters to rescue and transport dogs (and other
animals) from overcrowded shelters, relocating them to organizations committed
to finding them homes.

“Safe transportation is a life and death matter for all pets,” says Petmate CEO
Joe Messner. “And even more so for these rescued animals, whose lives truly
depend on this transportation. We feel a responsibility to help animals in need
and want to make this most important journey safe and comfortable.”

Of the thousands of rescue flights Pilots N Paws has made since its inception,
the 3rd Annual Awareness Event is an acute reminder of why Pilots N Paws exists.
In March of this year, Deborah Farhi, a volunteer with the Chesterfield County
Animal Shelter in South Carolina, noticed many of the dogs in the shelter were
missing. Upon questioning, shelter volunteers accused four local animal control
officers of shooting at least 22 of the dogs in their care to death instead of
euthanizing them through the approved, humane methods.

Shortly thereafter, Farhi began uncovering these dogs from a shallow landfill
across the street from the shelter. Sheriff Sam Parker, who oversees animal
control, put all four officers on leave, and within weeks the state attorney
general asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to begin investigating
the allegations. Today, the case against Chesterfield County is still under
investigation.

To honor the (at least) 22 animals that lost their lives in March, this year’s
awareness event will bring together 45 pilots and their planes in an effort to
save at least 200 dogs from seven different counties throughout South Carolina
on September 17. Additionally, hundreds of other pilots across the country will
fly rescue animals the same weekend as part of the event. Petmate will support
this amazing event by donating all of the kennels, collars, leashes and
seatbelts that the pilots need to ensure safe transport of the animals.

The rescue flights will start on Saturday, September 17 at 6:30 a.m. at the
Florence Regional Airport in South Carolina (www.florencescairport.com).  In the
event of inclement weather, the flights will be postponed until Sunday,
September 18.

Petmate also donated supplies to last year’s 2nd annual awareness event, which
was held on September 18, 2010, in New Orleans. Hundreds of volunteers—both
pilots and rescues—came together to change the lives of 171 animals.  With 22
planes on the ground at the New Orleans Lakefront airport, many adoptable dogs
were successfully sent on their way to find a new family to love.

For more information about the Pilots N Paws Memorial Rescue Flights for “The
Chesterfield 22”, please visit www.pilotsnpaws.org.

About Pilots N Paws
Since the program began in February 2008, pilots have donated their time, planes
and fuel to fly thousands of dogs from shelters where they faced almost certain
death. Some areas of the country are more likely to have overcrowded shelters
and limited adoption opportunities. At www.pilotsnpaws.org, pilots can learn
about animals in need and work directly with shelters and rescue groups to
coordinate transportation. Nearly 7,500 shelters and rescues, along with 2,201
volunteer pilots are registered on the site.

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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